OSTP Seeks Comments on Proposed FOIA Regulations

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is proud of its record of responsiveness with regard to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Indeed, when the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released its March 2012 “Report Card on Federal Government’s Efforts to Track and Manage FOIA Requests,” OSTP scored an A+.

Today, as part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to open government and transparency, OSTP is issuing proposed regulations to further improve OSTP’s FOIA-related service and performance.

The proposed regulations contain provisions to comply with the President’s January 21, 2009, Executive Memoranda onThe Freedom of Information Act” and “Transparency and Open Government,” as well as Attorney General Holder’s March 19, 2009, Memorandumon “The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).” These memoranda affirmed the Administration’s commitment to transparency by establishing a presumption of disclosure and openness “[i]n the face of doubt.”

The proposed rules clearly describe the structure of OSTP's FOIA Requester Service Center, prescribe methods of requesting records, explain the manner in which OSTP responds to requests, and describe policies governing applicable fees.

OSTP encourages the public to submit comments on the proposed regulations by email to ostpfoia@ostp.eop.gov, by fax to (202) 395-1224, or by mail to: Office of Science and Technology Policy, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, 1650 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20504. All submissions must be in English and must include the submitter’s name and return address or e-mail address, if applicable. Please clearly label submissions as “FOIA PROPOSED RULEMAKING.” Comments submitted to OSTP may be subject to public release, so please do not submit any personally identifiable information (such as social security numbers), or proprietary, business confidential, classified, or copyrighted material.

The Request for Public Comment is available at the Federal Register’s website here. All comments are due by June 11, 2012.

Jennifer Lee is Associate Counsel for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

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